Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hinche Parham Mabry (1829-1884)

Portrait courtesy of Find-A-Grave.

  Today marks a return to the Lonestar State to highlight another unusually named Texas state representative, Hinche Parham Mabry. A two-term member of the house from Cass and Titus County, Mabry would go on to serve in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and following his military service served as a member of the Texas State Constitutional Convention and briefly as a District Court Judge.
   A native of Georgia, Hinche Parham Mabry was born in Carroll County on October 27, 1829, being the son of Hinche and Linnie Williams Mabry. Afforded a limited education as a child, Mabry enrolled at the University of Tennesee at Knoxville in the late 1840s and in 1851 relocated to Jefferson, Texas. He began reading law shortly after his resettlement and in 1854 married to Sarah Abigail "Abbie" Haywood, with whom he would have three sons, Woodford Haywood (born 1855), Bob (born 1867) and Hinche Parham (born 1877).
  Admitted to the Texas bar in 1856, Mabry entered the political life of Texas in that year when he successfully contested the election of representative J.C. McAlpin and took McAlpin's seat in the Texas legislature in July 1856. He would serve until November of the following year and in November 1859 won a second term in the state house. During this term (1859-61) Mabry chaired the committee on Enrolled Bills and also held seats on the committees on Federal Relations, Internal Improvements, the Judiciary and the Penitentiary. 
   During his last year as a state representative Mabry saw the dawn of the Civil War and, although opposed to secession, cast his lot with the Confederacy. In May 1861 he served amongst the ranks of a volunteer expeditionary force that took command of Forts Washita and Arbuckle located in the Indian Territory. In the following month, he joined the newly organized Third Texas Calvary and shortly thereafter was promoted to Captain of Co. G in that regiment. 
   In the fall of 1861 Mabry and another companion, Captain Alfred Johnson, made a narrow escape in Springfield, Missouri while that city was under control of Gen. John C. Fremont. Entering the city on foot patrol, Mabry and Johnson entered the home of a widow to whom both were familiar, in order to obtain information. While at the home the two were surrounded by a number of Union troops, several of whom grabbed Mabry in order to get him to surrender. Mabry managed to escape by killing two of his pursuers with a Bowie knife, while Captain Johnson (who was inside the home) used a revolver to kill several more officers stationed in the back of the home. Both Mabry and Johnson were wounded during this skirmish but managed to make an escape from the area under cover of night.
   After a period of recuperation Hinche P. Mabry returned to the battlefield and saw action at the Battles of Elkhorn and Iuka. Severely wounded at the latter battle, Mabry was taken prisoner and in late 1862 was released in a prisoner exchange in Vicksburg. After stints as commander of the Texas Cavalry Brigade and later a rag-tag brigade made up of units from Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, Mabry was stationed at Yazoo City, Mississippi, where in 1864 he and his men captured the federal gunboat "Petrel". His later period of service saw him serve alongside Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and in June 1865 "signed his parole at Shreveport".
   Returning home to Texas, Mabry recommenced with the practice of law and in 1866 was elected as a delegate to the Texas State Constitutional Convention to be held at Austin. For a short period, he also served as Judge for Texas' Eighth Judicial district but was later replaced by "Federal Military authorities" after a year of service. Sources also note that Mabry was affiliated with a Ku Klux Klan offshoot group called the "Knights of Rising Sun" and for a time resided in Canada, having escaped there due to being implicated in the "Stockade Case", an act of reconstruction violence that claimed the lives of George W. Smith (a former Texas Constitutional Convention delegate) and two innocent black men
  Mabry's later life saw him practice law in Jefferson, Texas with David Browning Culberson (1830-1900), a former Texas state representative and senator. Mabry removed to Fort Worth, Texas around 1879 and resided there until the early 1880s. Having taken an interest in silver mining in Mexico, he spent considerable time in that country during the early part of that decade but spent his final days in Sherman, Texas. While visiting Sherman in early March 1884 Mabry was injured in the foot due to an accidental pistol discharge, the wounded later being compounded by blood poisoning, which would result in his death on March 21, 1884. Mabry was later interred at the Oakwood Cemetery in Jefferson, Texas.

Mabry's obit from the March 22, 1884 edition of the Fort Worth Gazette.

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